If the New York Yankees were to host the Seattle Mariners in Game 1 of the American League Division Series, the pitching matchup for that game could look at lot like what's on tap for Wednesday's matinee. New Mariners right-hander Luis Castillo will take the mound against Yankees ace Gerrit Cole. Castillo is set at Over/Under 5.5 strikeouts in his Seattle debut, but the Yankees opened as -190 favorites at Caesars Sportsbook -- that number will come down with Aaron Judge not starting.
Castillo was the top starting pitcher to change teams ahead of Tuesday's trade deadline. He was an All-Star this season with Cincinnati and is 4-4 with a 2.86 ERA, 1.07 WHIP and 90 strikeouts in 14 starts. Castillo started the season a bit late due to injury and was a tad shaky early on, but has been great of late with five straight quality starts since June 28. In that span, he is 2-0 with a 1.59 ERA and is holding opponents to a .187 (23-for-123) batting average.
Seattle is looking for its first playoff birth since 2001, the longest postseason drought not just in MLB but in any of the four major American sports leagues. The Mariners aren't catching the Astros for the AL West title but are in a good position for a Wild-Card spot and would have to get through a Wild-Card Series (remember it's a new playoff format going forward) to potentially face the Yankees. The Mariners are -400 to make the playoffs at DraftKings.
The M's gave up four prospects for Castillo, led by shortstop Noelvi Marte, ranked No. 17 overall by MLB.com. Castillo has pitched one playoff game in his career (2020). The SportsLine Projection Model improved Seattle's playoff chances by 2.1 percent immediately following the trade.
"He's one of the best pitchers in the game -- he's really established himself as a dominant starter,'' Mariners manager Scott Servais said. "We've got a chance to do something really big here this year. You have to step out and take a chance once in a while if you ultimately want to get the reward, take a little risk."
Castillo pitched at Yankee Stadium in interleague play on July 14 and allowed one run and two hits over seven innings in a no-decision. New York also was pursuing him but wound up with Oakland's Frankie Montas after Seattle offered a better deal.
"Obviously, I heard all the rumors throughout the whole journey," Castillo said. "I've heard that five, six teams — a lot of rumors that a lot of teams looking for me. But I was always focused on doing my job and luckily [I was] traded here to Seattle and I'm happy."
Judge is surprisingly getting the afternoon off -- he could pinch hit -- despite being red hot. In 13 games post-break, he has 1.608 OPS with 10 home runs, three doubles, 23 RBIs, 15 runs and two stolen bases. Aaron Hicks is in center field and Matt Carpenter is in right field today.
Cole (9-3, 3.30 ERA, 162 strikeouts) is currently +2000 to win the AL Cy Young for the first time. He has not been great in his past two outings, allowing nine runs and 16 hits over 12 innings. Cole shut out the Reds on four hits with 11 strikeouts over seven innings on July 12, but took a no-decision when the New York bullpen imploded by allowing four runs in the ninth inning.
Which Fantasy Football sleepers, breakouts and busts should you target and fade? And which QB shocks the NFL with a top-five performance? Join SportsLine now to get Fantasy Football cheat sheets for every single position, all from the model that called Jonathan Taylor's huge season, and find out.